Tel Aviv cykel udlejning
Tel Aviv rolls out short-term bike rental
Like some 200 other cities around the world, Tel Aviv-Jaffa is now
offering subscriptions for cyclists to pick up and drop off a pair of wheels in
Buckle your helmets and release your kickstands: Tel Aviv has launched a
citywide bike-rental network.
Tel-Ofan (tel-o-fan.co.il) (ofanayim is Hebrew for "bicycle”) offers
subscriptions at attractive prices to encourage residents to help reduce
traffic tie-ups and pollution while getting fit and saving lots of shekels on
The way it works is simple. Users sign up via Internet, toll-free phone
number (*6070) or visiting City Hall. For now, only annual subscriptions are
available, costing NIS 280 (about $64) or NIS 240 for local residents. Eventually,
daily and weekly subscriptions will be sold as well.
When you want to get from Point A to Point B, you visit your nearby Tel
Ofan station -- there will be 75 by the end of May and another 75 in the near
future, if all goes according to plan. Using an electronic key fob, you pick up
the bicycle at one station and drop it off at another one near your
destination. It’s free for the first half hour, and your "clock” restarts from
zero if you leave the bike docked for at least 10 minutes.
"The purpose is that we want people to share the bikes,” explains Tel
Aviv-Jaffa Economic Development Authority CEO Sharon Kenan, who heads the
project. "While you’re doing whatever you’re doing, someone else will ride the
bike you docked.” This is roughly the same way municipal bike-renting programs
work in about 200 cities all over the world.
New bike lanes afoot
Though the idea may indeed be simple, it took three years of planning
from the time Mayor Ron Huldai gave the assignment to the EDA until the pilot
program was rolled out at the start of May.
The challenge was two-fold, says Kenan. One was to create a stable,
sophisticated information technology system behind Tel-Ofan, and the other was
to make sure that when a subscriber randomly arrives at a station, there will
always be a bike waiting there in good condition -- and there will be an
available spot at which to dock it at the destination station.
"This is very hard to achieve,” says Kenan. "But we have special trucks going
around the city balancing the inventory of bicycles from full stations to empty
He even called in the department of mathematics at Tel Aviv University (www.tau.ac.il/index-eng.html) to help. These students established formulas
based on typical patterns of how bicycles move through the city, showing the
optimum plan for moving them from one station to another. Each station is
stocked with about 20 bikes.
To show it is totally serious about making bike riding an attractive
alternative for Tel Aviv-Jaffa residents and people from other areas who arrive
in the city by public transportation for work each day, the city is investing many millions of shekels to add to its
existing 65 miles of bike lanes.
"We need more,” says
Kenan. "In the last five years, we’ve invested NIS 10 million per year in this
project, and for next five years the municipality has tripled the budget” for constructing
Learning from the
experiences of other cities in dealing with possible theft, damage and
vandalism of the fleet, Kenan says there are both physical and electronic
protections in place, but did not elaborate for obvious reasons.